Sit, stand, walk. All three of these verbs picture our relationship with the Lord.
Sitting sounds restful, safe, and secure. Ephesians 2:6 says, “And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.” What an honor it is to be seated with Christ! The Lord promises his faithful follower, “To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne” (Revelation 3:21).
Standing sounds confident and determined. Ephesians 6:13 says, “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” A classic gospel song exhorts us, “Stand up, stand up for Jesus, ye soldiers of the cross.” Christians must resist the devil, “standing firm in the faith” (1 Peter 5:9).
The Bible uses another word-picture to summarize the lives of Enoch and Noah. “They walked faithfully with God” (Genesis 5:24, 6:9)—an honorable epitaph for any godly life. In times of moral confusion, you will stand out as a difference maker if you make the Lord your traveling companion. What does it mean to walk with God?
Walking requires movement. It keeps us moving forward and exercising our muscles. When we walk with God, we don’t grow lazy and complacent; we continue growing and taking steps of faith.
Walking with another person requires adjustment. It doesn’t work if one person walks too fast and races ahead while the other lags behind. If we want to walk with God, “let us keep in step with the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25).
Walking requires a steady pace. Notice, the Bible doesn’t say Enoch and Noah “ran” with God. They walked. Of course, there are times when circumstances require us to pick up the pace. In fact, the apostle Paul compared the Christian life to running a race (1 Corinthians 9:24, 2 Timothy 4:7)—but the race is a marathon, not a sprint. Living by faith doesn’t mean something spectacular will happen every day, and it doesn’t necessarily leave us breathless and exhausted. More often, the walk of faith moves us along at a measured pace as we pursue the upward call of God through the ups and downs of life.
Walking with another person enhances communication. It provides an ideal opportunity for meaningful dialogue. Like other first-century rabbis, Jesus often taught his disciples while they strolled along the road. My wife Candy and I take walks together almost every day in a park near our home. Walking together helps us stay in shape physically while we stay in touch with what’s happening in each other’s world. “Walking with God” is an Old Testament way to say, “Pray without ceasing.” Hymnwriters rightly use walking with God as a metaphor for prayer. Remember these lyrics? “And he walks with me and he talks with me, and he tells me I am his own.” “Just a closer walk with Thee, grant it, Jesus, is my plea.”
Enoch and Noah remind us what a privilege it is to walk and talk with God. Life’s journey goes better when the heavenly Father is our traveling companion.
David Faust serves as the Associate Minister at East 91st Street Christian Church in Indianapolis, Indiana.
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